On Tuesday, Montgomery County Judge Anthony Capizzi will lead a national panel discussion in Washington D.C. before Congressional leaders and legislative aides. The focus of the briefing is to raise awareness about the struggles many communities face as a result of the opioid epidemic.
Capizzi serves as president of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. The council, made up of judges from across the country, will also inform officials about local approaches to the crisis that are showing success.
“We have to focus on these challenges. We have to beat them," he said. "So, the national council, I think, is a good organization in that we accept the challenge, we accept the crises but we’re working for ways to solve it and I believe that we have found many successful approaches in all different parts of our country to help focus on the issues that affect all of us.”
Capizzi says, in lieu of federal intervention, many communities are often better equipped to handle families who end up in the justice system because of addiction. Council representatives from several states will brief Congress on a variety of scenarios and solutions that are playing out in their courts.
While the number of drug overdose deaths has fallen in Montgomery County recently, state officials are continuing to address the issue on a number of fronts. On Monday, Ohio joined several other states in suing four companies that distribute prescription painkillers. Two are located in Ohio.